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NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL COMMISSION ON SOCIOTECHNICAL SYSTEMS NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD Chairman: Mr. William D. Manly Senior Vice President Cabot Corporation 125 High Street Boston, MA 02110 Past Chairman: Mr. Julius J. Harwood Director, Materials Science Laboratory Engineering and Research Staff Ford Motor Company P. O. Box 2053 Dearborn, MI 48121 ^^^^ Members Dr. John R. Hutchins III Vice President and Director of Research and Development Technical Staff Division Corning Glass Works Sullivan Park Corning, NY 14830 Dr. Sheldon E. Isakoff Director, Engineering Research and Development Division E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., Inc. Wilmington, DE 19898 Dr. Frank E. Jaumot, Jr. Director of Advanced Engineering Delco Electronics Division General Motors Corporation P. O. Box 1104 Kokomo, IN 46901 Dr. James W. Mar Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics Building 33-307 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 02139 Dr. Frederick T. Moore Industrial Advisor Industrial Development and Finance Department World Bank 1818 H Street, N.W., Room D422 Washington, DC 20431 Dr. R. Byron Pipes Director, Center for Composite Materials Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University of Delaware Newark, DE 19711 Dr. Allen S. Russell Vice President-Science and Technology Aluminum Company of America 1501 Alcoa Building Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Dr. George S. Ansell Dean, School of Engineering Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY 12181 Dr. H. Kent Bowen Professor, Ceramic and Electrical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139 Dr. Van L. Canady Senior Planning Associate Mobil Chemical Company 150 E. 42nd Street, Room 746 New York, NY 10017 Dr. George E. Dieter, Jr. Dean, College of Engineering University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742 Dr. Joseph N. Epel Director, Plastics Research and Development Center Budd Corporation 356 Executive Drive Troy, MI 48084 Dr. Larry L. Hench Professor and Head Ceramics Division Department of Materials Science and Engineering University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32601 Dr. Robert E. Hughes Professor of Chemistry Executive Director, Materials Science Center Department of Chemistry Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14850 (1/18/80) Dr. John J. Schanz, Jr. Senior Specialist Congressional Research Service-ENR Library of Congress Washington, DC 20540 Dr. Arnold J. Silverman Professor, Department of Geology University of Montana Missoula, MT 59801 Dr. Dorothy M. Simon Vice President and Director of Research AVCO Corporation 1275 King Street Greenwich, CT 06830 Dr. William M. Spurgeon Director, Manufacturing and Quality Control Bendix Corporation 24799 Edgemont Road Southfield, MI 48075 Dr. Roger A. Strehlow Professor, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana 101 Transportation Building Urbana, H 61801 Dr. Michael Tenenbaum 1644 Cambridge Flossmoor, IL 60422 Dr. William A. Vogely Professor and Head, Department of Mineral Economics Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802 Dr. Albert R. C. Westwood Director, Martin Marietta Labs Martin Marietta Corporation 1450 South Rolling Road Baltimore, MD 21227 NMAB Staff W. R. Prindle, Executive Director R. V. Hemm, Executive Secretary

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BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATA 1- Report No. ~~~~. 2. 3. Recipient's Accession No. SHEET NMAB-367 - 1 4. Title and Subtitle 5. Report Date The Investigation of Grain Elevator Explosions September 1980 6. 7- Author(s) panel on Causes and Prevention of Grain Eleva- tor Explosions 8. Performing Organization Rept. No' NMAB-367 9. Performing Organization Name and Address 10. Project/Task/Work Unit No. National Materials Advisory Board National Academy of Sciences 2101 Constitution Ave, NW Washington, DC 20418 11. Contract/Grant No. J-9-F-8-0137 12. Sponsoring Organization Name and Address 13. Type of Report & Period Covered U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration 200 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20210 Final Report 15. Supplementary Notes 14. » 16. Abstracts —Grain elevator explosions have become a problem of serious concern to a number of federal agencies and to the grain-handling indus- try. The explosiveness of grain dust when ignited in a confined space has been known for years. However, the conditions and sequence of event leading to an explosion, the point and cause of ignition, and the pro- pagation of an explosion in actual occurrences have remained relatively unknown. Remedial action to reduce the number and severity of explo- sions must be based on determination of these factors. This report em- phasizes that previous inventigations following elevator explosions have yielded little information other than that an explosion occurred and the damage was of a certain degree. The investigation of an explosion to obtain a complete understanding of the event requires a team having specialized skills and capabilities. Such teams do not presently exist. The need for such a team and its qualifications and operation are outlir 17. Key Words and Document Analysis. 17a. Descriptors j_n this report. Government Explosion Investigations Explosion Investigation Methods Grain Elevator Explosions Dust Explosions 17b. Identifieis/Open-Ended Terms 17c. COSATI Field/Group 18. Availability Statement This report is for sale by the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22151 19. Security Class (This Report) UNCLASSIFIED 21. No. of Pages 20 20. Security Class (This Page UNCLASSIFIED 22. Price FORM NTIS-33 (REV. 3-72) THIS FORM MAY BE REPRODUCED USCOMM-DC 148B2-P72

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THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its Congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, non-profit, self-governing membership coporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineer- ing communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 196A and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the Academy of Sciences. THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES was established in 1863 by Act of Congress as a private, non-profit, self-governing membership corpora- tion for the furtherance of science and technology, required to advise the federal government upon request within its fields of competence. Under its corporate charter the Academy established the National Research Council in 19'6, the National Academy of Engineering in 196**, and the Institute of Medicine in 1970. THE COMMISSION ON SOCIOTECHNICAL SYSTEMS is one of the major components of the National Research Council and has general responsibility for and cognizance over those program areas concerned with physical, techno- logical, and industrial systems that are or may be deployed in the public or private sector to serve societal needs. THE NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD is a unit of the Commission on Sociotechnical Systems of the National Research Council. Organized in 1951 as the Metallurgical Advisory Board, through a series of changes and expansion of scope, it became the Materials Advisory Board and, in January 1969, the National Materials Advisory Board. In consonance with the scope of the two Academies, the general purpose of the Board is the advancement of materials science and engineering, in the national interest. The Board fulfills its purpose by: providing advice and assistance, on request, to government agencies and to private organiza- tions on matters of materials science and technology affecting the national interest; focusing attention on the materials aspects of national problems and opportunities, both technical and nontechnical in nature, and making appropriate recommendations as to the solution of such problems and the exploitation of these opportunities; performing studies and critical analyses on materials problems of a national scope, recommending approaches to the solution of these problems, and providing continuing guidance in the implementation of resulting activities; identifying problems in the interactions of materials d i scipl ines v;i th othr.r technical functions, and defining approaches for the effective utiliza- tion of materials technologies; cooperating in the development of ad- vanced educational concepts and approaches in the materials disciplines; communicating and disseminating information on Board activities and related national concerns; promoting cooperation with and among the materials-related professional societies; maintaining an awareness of trends and significant advances in materials technology, in order to call attention to opportunties and possible roadblocks, and their im- plications for other fields, and recognizing and promoting the development and application of advanced concepts in materials and materials processes.

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THE INVESTIGATION OF GRAIN ELEVATOR EXPLOSIONS Report of Panel on Causes and Prevention of Grain Elevator Explosions of the Committee on Evaluation of Industrial Hazards NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD Commission on Sociotechnical Systems National Research Council National Academy of Sciences Publication NMAB-367 - 1 National Academy Press Washington, D. C. 1980 [;A3'NAZ APR I 0 1981 LIBRARY

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NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the Councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competence and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study by the National Materials Advisory Board was initiated under Contract No. J-9-F-8-0137 with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This report is for sale by the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22151. Printed in the United States of America. ii

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ABSTRACT Grain elevator explosions have become a problem of serious concern to a number of federal agencies and to the grain-handling industry. The explosiveness of grain dust when ignited in a confined space has been known for years. However, the conditions and sequence of events leading to an explosion, the point and cause of ignition, and the propagation of an explosion in actual occurrences have re- mained relatively unknown. Remedial action to reduce the number and severity of explosions must be based on deter- mination of these factors. This report emphasizes that previous investigations following elevator explosions have yielded little information other than that an explosion occurred and that damage was of a certain degree. The investigation of an explosion to obtain a complete under- standing of the event requires a team having specialized skills and capabilities. Such teams do not presently exist. The need for such a team and its qualifications and opera- tion are outlined in this report. 111

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PREFACE Following a number of large explosions in grain eleva- tors in December 1977 the National Materials Advisory Board held a symposium on grain elevator explosions in July 1978 at the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To continue efforts in dealing with the problem of grain elevator explosions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requested the National Academy of Sciences to establish a panel, under the NMAB's Committee on the Evaluation of Industrial Hazards, to investigate causes and make recommendations for the prevention of such explosions. As part of the task OSHA requested the panel to examine a representative and specific sample of grain elevator explo- sion investigations made by the federal government for the purpose of making recommendations for improvement in the procedures. Members of the panel who are experts in explo- sion investigation and grain elevator operation examined the OSHA files and reports on five explosions. In addition they conducted their own independent on-site investigations of eight explosions that have occurred since the panel was formed in November 1978. The panel also thoroughly familiarized itself with grain elevator operation through discussions with representatives of various agencies and organizations involved in the grain-handling industry and by visits to a number of operating elevators. This report contains the panel's findings concerning the government explosion investigations* and offers recommendations for improvement in the government procedures. It is the first in a series; future reports will cover the causes and pre- vention of grain elevator explosions, grain dust collection systems and technology, and the causes and prevention of explosions in grain mills. *The reports examined were made available to the panel on a privileged basis; their actual content is not cited herein. IV

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PANEL ON CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF GRAIN ELEVATOR EXPLOSIONS of the Committee on Evaluation of Industrial Hazards Chairman ROGER A. STREHLOW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Members JOHN E, ALBERTSON, American Federation of Government Employees, Washington, DC WILLIAM C, BRASIE, Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan ROBERT M. FRYE, MAC Equipment, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri VERNON L. GROSE, Tustin Institute of Technology, Santa Barbara, California ROBERT F. HUBBARD, Cargill, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota CHARLES W. KAUFFMAN, University of Michigan ERNEST C, MAGISON, Honeywell Inc., Fort Washington, Pennsylvania ALBERT S. TOWNSEND, National Agra Underwriters, Inc., Camp Hill, Pennsylvania Liaison Representatives EDWARD J. BALLITCH, Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC MARTIN A, ESHLEMAN, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC JOHN A. GERARD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia DON GOODWIN, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina DONALD D. HERRING, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC JOHN F. McANULTY U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC JOSEPH E. PIPKIN, Occupational Safety and Health Administra- tion, Washington, DC YESHAJAHU POMERANZ, Department of Agriculture, Manhattan, Kansas

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THOMAS H. SEYMOUR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC BERNARD T. WOLFSON, U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC NMAB Staff STANLEY M. BARKIN NELSON T, GRISAMORE vi

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COMMITTEE ON EVALUATION OF INDUSTRIAL HAZARDS Chairman HOMER W. CARHART, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC Members FREDERICK R. EIRICH, Polytechnic Institute of New York LELAND J. HALL, The Mill Mutuals, Chicago, Illinois ERNEST C. MAGISON, Honeywell, Inc., Fort Washington, Pennsylvania J. ARTHUR NICHOLLS, University of Michigan PETER J. SCHRAM, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Northbrook, Illinois ROGER A. STREHLOW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Liaison Representatives CHIA CHEN, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC ANDREW M. COWAN, Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland JOHN A. GERARD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia RICHARD W. McQUAID, David W. Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center, Annapolis, Maryland JOSEPH E. PIPKIN, Occupational Safety and Health Administra- tion, Washington, DC THOMAS A. SEYMOUR, Occupational Safety and Health Adminis- tration, Washington, DC Technical Advisors ERSKIN HARTON, Consultant, Falls Church, Virginia MURRAY JACOBSON, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Arlington, Virginia NMAB Staff STANLEY M. BARKIN VI1

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CONTENTS Page Summary and Recommendations 1 Investigation of Grain Elevator Explosions - 3 Current Status Investigation of Grain Elevator Explosions -> 5 Present Need Technical Investigations - Procedures, g Requirements, and Results Administrative Issues to be Resolved 9 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1]- IX